B’nai B’rith International has expressed astonishment over reports that Syria and Iran may seek seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Reuters reported that the chronic human rights abusers are vying for two of the four contested seats allotted to Asian countries at the UNHRC.
“If accurate, it is unfathomable that these countries would try to join the Human Rights Council when their actions show that they could not care less about human rights,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “The Syrian government is engaged in committing atrocities in its own country and has been accused of using chemical weapons. Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror and, among countless other misdeeds, is assisting Syria in its war. What do they think they could possibly bring to the council?”
The U.N. General Assembly will vote on new council members this fall. The winners of the election will hold three-year terms.
“The Human Rights Council continues to allow itself to be manipulated for the worst of political purposes,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Both Syria and Iran commit gross human rights violations on a day-to-day basis. It would be an absurdity for them to join the council.”
B’nai B’rith will work at the United Nations to make sure member states understand the danger of electing Iran and Syria to the UNHRC.